Gloria Addo-Ayensu, M.D. M.P.H is the Director of Health for Fairfax County. In this capacity she provides overall leadership, management and direction for public health programs in the county and serves as the official health advisor to Fairfax County's Board of Supervisors, Health Care Advisory Board and the Human Services Council. She has led a number of local and regional public health initiatives in the areas of emergency preparedness, health promotion and health equity. Throughout her public health career, she has promoted community health and resiliency through partnerships and has a long-term record of successfully leveraging community assets to create innovative, practical and sustainable community-based approaches to complex public health challenges. She earned her Doctor of Medicine and Master's in Public Health from Tulane University and completed her residency training in preventive medicine from the Loma Linda University Medical Center.
Bob Blancato is President of Matz, Blancato and Associates located in Washington D.C. He is the National Coordinator of the bi partisan 3000 member Elder Justice Coalition. He serves as Executive Director of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs. Bob has more than 20 years of federal government service in the Congress and Executive branches including 13 years as on the senior staff of the House Select Committee on Aging and an appointment by President Clinton to be Executive Director of the 1995 White House Conference on Aging. Currently Bob is in volunteer leadership roles with top national aging groups including serving as AARP State President in Virginia, a member of Board and Executive Committee for the American Society on Aging and on the Board of the National Council on Aging. He holds a BA from Georgetown University and an MPA from American University. Bob has won numerous awards for advocacy and in 2011 was knighted by the Italian Republic for his commitment to the relationship between the United States and Italy.
A native of Rhode Island, Leo is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island, the Air Force Institute of Technology and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. A career USAF Logistician, Leo and his family have lived in many locations including Germany, Thailand and Spain. They settled in Virginia in 1988 while Leo was assigned to the Defense Logistics Agency in Alexandria.
After retiring from the Air Force in 1991, Leo worked for PRC, Litton/PRC and then Northrop Grumman. While never changing jobs, through buyouts and mergers, Leo worked for all three companies, consulting in Total Quality Management (TQM), business process re-engineering and teaching acquisition logistics for the Defense Acquisition University.
Retiring in 2004, he immediately joined OLLI, to keep his mind active and to further his interest in assuring a secure retirement. He focused on Tom Crooker's Investment Forum, where he still participates today, and later all courses offered in finance and economics.
In 2005, Bob Bohall asked Leo to take over as the head of the Economics and Finance Resource Group. In the past 7 years, Leo has significantly increased the number of courses offered in these 200 series classes.
The finance courses relate to personal finance and issues that you can manage yourself, while the economic discussions relate more to national and international issues that you need to understand to better manage your future. As our economy keeps changing, additional courses have been offered to understand changes in tax laws, social security, Medicare, identity theft and issues associated with long term care and retirement living.
Leo's primary goal is to provide useful information to our members that will allow them to make sound personal and financial decisions as we age. Even with competent advisors, we must be literate in the language of finance, health care, estate planning and taxation if we are to understand what suggestions are being offered. The truth is, the only person in charge of your manageable future, is the person you see in the mirror daily.
As seniors, we need to build a sound financial and estate plan that our spouses are comfortable managing. To accomplish that, we need to focus on simplicity and mutual education. Many OLLI members are widows or widowers, some of whom might not have previously been involved in family finances. The goal of the Economics and Finance Committee is to provide our folks with the tools they need to manage their situation.
In addition to his OLLI activities, Leo chairs the Advisory Board of George Mason's College of Health and Human Services and is also an active member of the Knights of Columbus.
Karen Brown received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Ithaca College and her Master's Degree from Auburn University majoring in Rehabilitation Counseling. She was a doctoral student at George Washington University and completed all course work in Rehabilitation Leadership. Ms. Brown is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and Certified Brain Injury Specialist. She has served as adjunct faculty at George Washington University and taught several courses including Case Management and Disability Issues, Head Injury Rehabilitation as well as supervised practicum and internship students. She has spent over 33 years in the rehabilitation field working in Alabama, Texas and Virginia. In the late 1970's, Ms. Brown worked out of the VA McGuire Hospital in Richmond as Liaison State Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. She also developed and implemented two supported employment programs for individuals with psychiatric disabilities and mental retardation in Northern Virginia.
Ms. Brown is the current Executive Director of Brain Injury Services, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides community-based rehabilitation services and programs to individuals with acquired brain injuries. This was the first community-based organization of its kind in Virginia serving individuals with traumatic brain injury. She was instrumental in the development of the first community-based pediatric brain injury case management program in Virginia. She is past Chair of the Virginia Brain Injury Council and Virginia Alliance of Brain Injury Services Providers. She presently serves as Chair of the Fairfax County Long Term Care Council. She is also President of the Board of Directors for CarefaxLTC and serves on the Board of Wesley Housing. Ms. Brown is a graduate of Leadership Fairfax.
Kevin J. Donnellan
AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer
As Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for AARP, a 38 million member nonprofit that continues to revolutionize how we talk about being 50+, Kevin Donnellan oversees the development of AARP's strategic communications direction, positioning the AARP family of organizations – AARP, AARP Foundation, and AARP Services – with media and opinion leaders, and shaping its reputation with key constituencies.
Since joining AARP, Mr. Donnellan has assumed several leadership roles that have been instrumental in the growth and success of AARP, including director of the office of grassroots and elections, leading state and national grassroots advocacy campaigns, e-advocacy efforts, and the group’s voter education initiative. Mr. Donnellan also spearheaded AARP’s public policy work and was responsible for formulating and implementing the Association's legislative agenda.
As a thought leader and public intellectual, Mr. Donnellan – a member of the Health and Human Services Advisory Board at George Mason – has helped AARP re-engineer an entire life stage segment and redefine the experience of being 50+. By embedding AARP’s work in robust, rigorous research – on everything from misconceptions about Medicare to the virtues of family caregiving to the transformation of long-term care – and using a state-of-the-art communications operation to influence the conversations Americans are having about these issues, Mr. Donnellan has positioned AARP as a trusted advisor to millions of people 50+.
Widely recognized as the architect behind AARP’s communications revolution, Mr. Donnellan has invigorated and renewed AARP’s focus on social change, in part by crafting an integrated suite of media properties that enable the organization to reach a younger Baby Boomer demographic and communicate beyond the boundaries of what people think AARP is. The result has been deeper public engagement in, for example, protecting entitlements and shaping the future of health care delivery to individuals, families, and communities.
Mr. Donnellan has presided over innovative AARP initiatives that have forged multi-sectoral alliances and created a new template for social change. A social media fundraising effort for older victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti raised more than $1.4 million over four days. And AARP Foundation’s Drive to End Hunger has engaged Jeff Gordon’s #24 Chevrolet and NASCAR to fuel awareness about senior hunger and raise more than $15 million for AARP Foundation hunger programs. Mr. Donnellan has garnered attention as a change-maker who uses communications technology to frame the global health and social welfare challenges of people 50+.
Before coming to AARP, Mr. Donnellan worked on Capitol Hill, where he was executive assistant to Geraldine Ferraro, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and the first woman to be nominated by a national party for Vice President of the U.S.
Mr. Donnellan is a member of the Ad Council Advisory Committee on Public Issues, and represents AARP on the Communications and Marketing Advisory Task Force of the Independent Sector and the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations. He is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society, and is also a member of the Public Affairs Council Board. In 2011, he was named to Influence 100 – the most important In-House Communicators in the World by the prestigious Holmes Report.
Mr. Donnellan holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Government and Politics from St. John’s University in New York.
Dr. Mary Ann Friesen is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) with more than 30 years of experience in nursing education, patient education, performance improvement and consulting. Her clinical experience includes critical care, cardiac, home health and geriatric nursing. Dr. Friesen is the Nursing Research Coordinator and Evidence Based Practice Coordinator for Inova and is chair of the Nursing Research and Evidence Based Council. The majority of her professional career has been focused on the improvement of patient care and developing processes and systems to promote high-quality patient-centered care.
Currently the Dr. Friesen is the Nursing Research and Evidence Based Practice (EBP) Coordinator for Inova. She has a record of leading successful and productive research projects in areas of high relevance to principles of patient-centered care. During her career in patient advocacy and education, Dr. Friesen has developed a culturally sensitive patient education program, obtained funding for patient education programs, and worked extensively with patient support groups. In her various roles in performance improvement and quality assurance, Dr. Friesen has evaluated system-wide processes, coordinated medical staff monitoring and evaluation activities, chaired performance improvement committees, collaboratively conducted root cause analysis, and assured compliance with regulatory agency standards.
Dr. Friesen has written articles, presented at numerous professional conferences. Her publications include articles in Nursing Management, Journal of Nursing Care Quality, JONA, Holistic Nursing Practice, and Birth. She completed a doctoral nursing internship at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and co-authored the chapter on handoffs in Advances in Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses.
Her education includes an Associate Degree in Nursing, from Pace University, NY; a Bachelors degree in Sociology from Cameron University, OK; a Masters in Nursing from the University of Texas at El Paso, and a Doctorate in Nursing from George Mason University, VA.
Reston Hospital Center Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer
Prior to joining Reston Hospital Center as Chief Nursing Officer in 1998, Cindy served in the same capacity at HCA’s Pentagon City Hospital in Arlington, Virginia.
Outside HCA, Cindy began her nursing career at Northern Virginia Doctors Hospital in 1978 and served in various positions over the next 15 years. She was promoted to Director of Medical/Surgical Services in 1993, and two years later accepted the role of Assistant Director of Nursing. She became the Director of Nursing there in 1996.
Cindy earned a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from George Mason University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Averett College. She has an advanced board-certification in Nursing Administration from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Currently, Cindy serves as the HCA Capital Division Chair of the CNO Council and serves on the Division HCAHPS team. Under her leadership, in December 2007 the Nursing Division of Reston Hospital Center achieved the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s highest honor - Magnet Designation. In addition, the Reston Hospital Center Critical Care Unit received the coveted Beacon Award.
Angela H. McConnell, Owner and CEO of Q Integrative Healthcare Consulting, served over 22 years in the U.S. Military, active duty and reserve, in both the enlisted ranks and officer corps. Since retirement in 2009, she has dedicated time towards multiple local Veteran/Military initiatives to include the Wounded Warrior Mentoring Program, Association for Defense Communities, Ride 2 Recovery, and was the co-founder and co-chair of Prince William Chamber Veterans Council. In 2013, she founded and began developing Northern Virginia Veterans Association (NOVAVETS). This service organization has a distinct and necessary mission being a hands-on, non-profit that connects veterans and military families, at no cost, to a vast system of community resources addressing needs to support and improve their quality of life. It provides a comprehensive continuity of support, follow-up and case management.
Ms. McConnell’s entrepreneurial work and experience within the military and civilian health care systems provides insight and expertise for comprehensive understanding and development of leading-edge integrative healthcare programs and models. Ms. McConnell has combined her background, training, and education to facilitate this forward-leaning Veteran/military collaborative coalition movement where she’s working to facilitate community partnerships, create solutions to meet the local needs and bring Veterans together throughout Northern Virginia.
Angela is finishing her PhD in Health Administration and working towards publishing in both Healthcare and Veteran/Military journals.
The Permanente Medical Group, Inc. Medical Group Administrator
Deborah L. Royalty, RN, is a Mason graduate, having earned her master’s degree in 1988. Currently, Debbie is the Medical Group Administrator for The Permanente Medical Group, Inc. at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center in Sacramento, California. In this role she acts as the Chief Operating Officer over medical group operations and has helped lead the development of the first trauma center for Kaiser Permanente at the South Sacramento Medical Center.
Before transferring to the West, Debbie was the Area Administrator of the Northern Virginia Service Area for Kaiser Permanente’s Mid-Atlantic Region. Her accountabilities in this role included leadership and oversight for all Kaiser Permanente medical center operations in Northern Virginia. Debbie worked in several leadership capacities for Inova Health System prior to her employment with Kaiser Permanente.
Debbie is Certified in Nursing Administration and maintains several professional memberships, including the American Organization of Nurse Executives and the American College of Healthcare Executives. Debbie’s daughter, Sarah Royalty, is a 2009 alumna of Mason’s School of Law.
Nora Super joined n4a in February 2016 as the Chief, Program and Services. In this role, Nora leads n4a’s training, technical assistance, research and development efforts. She oversees n4a’s key programs, including planning and capacity development, Livable Communities, the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center, the Aging Network Volunteer Resource Center and the Eldercare Locator.
Prior to joining n4a, Nora served as the Executive Director of the 2015 White House Conference on Aging in July, where she was responsible for directing a nationwide effort to identify and advance actions to improve the quality of life of older Americans. From 2012-2015, she served as Director of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).
Before joining federal service, Nora Super served as Director, Federal Government Relations, Health and Long-Term Care at AARP. In this role, she was responsible for managing AARP’s government relations activities regarding health care reform, Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care and prescription drugs. Before joining AARP, Nora represented Kaiser Permanente’s eight regional Permanente Medical Groups as the Permanente Federation’s Director of Public Policy and Government Relations.
Nora has more than 20 years of experience working in Washington, DC on a wide range of aging policy issues, including health care delivery and payment reform, Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care, retirement income security, and other federal and state aging programs. She has worked in academia and in the private sector, including the GWU Medical School, the National Health Policy Forum, the Washington Business Group on Health and the Employee Benefit Research Institute. She has also served in government at both the local and state level, and as congressional staff.
A native of New Orleans, Nora studied political science at Tulane University and completed her masters’ work in public administration, with a concentration in health policy, at George Washington University.
Carolyn Taylor is Corporate Operations Officer at Taylor-Oden Enterprises, Inc. (TOE), an Information technology and health care consulting firm and has held this role for nine years. She has more than thirty years experience in the health care industry as a clinician, manager and corporate executive. She has served as a mentor, educator, consultant and facilitator. Ms. Taylor is a dynamic speaker who has presented numerous topics related to health care, human resources, information technology and financial management.
Currently, she is an adjunct professor at George Mason University (GMU) College of Health and Human Services (CHHS). She teaches graduate students majoring in Nursing Administration. She actively participates on boards and professional associations. She formerly served as board member & treasurer on the GMU Diversity Advisory Board (DAB) from 2001-2005. She has also served on the Deans Advisory Board of the CHHS at GMU since 2001-current. She served as Membership Chair on the GMU College of Health & Human Services Alumni Association for 2001-2005. Ms. Taylor received the GMU Alumni Service Award in 2001. Ms. Taylor and her husband Les Taylor are founding sponsors of the Quality Improvement of the Year Awards. Ms. Taylor was nominated and elected to the Board of Directors of the Northern Virginia Health Education Council (NVAHEC) for a three-year term in January 2009.
Ms. Taylor is a graduate of GMU with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from the College of Health and Human Services. She holds a Master of Business Administration from the School of Management at GMU. She has completed a residency at Oxford University, Oxford England in International Business and Finance. Currently, Ms. Taylor is in the third year of doctoral studies at GMU in the CHHS and has completed core course work and moved to doctoral candidacy in January 2009.
Mr. Thomas holds both a BA and an MA in Economics from San Jose State University (California State University) and currently resides in Fairfax, Virginia, where he is working towards a doctorate in economics at George Mason University (GMU) and lectures in Health Economics and Environmental Economics.
Mr. Thomas is also a serial entrepreneur who, over the past thirty years, has founded and led four successful tech companies raising more than $75 million dollars in seed, strategic, and venture capital. His most recent effort, Intacct, based in Silicon Valley, is one of the leading software as a service (SaaS) companies, with more than 7,000 enterprise customers.
In recent years, Mr. Thomas has represented the tech industry as Executive Director of the Software Industry Association and EVP of Business Development for TechAmerica. He currently serves on the advisory board for the College of Health and Human Services at George Mason University.